I felt it -
The pressure -
And I don't know if it was the Spirit
Or just my soul's own aching for self-preservation,
But I needed to find shoes.
I just needed to find shoes.
I slip them on my feet,
Grab plain old gray zip-up sweatshirt,
Open the door,
Walk down the steps,
Start meandering around the grass,
Crossing ankles with each step,
So much like my life feels,
Even with all its ordered plans and to-do lists.
Too much structure can make me feel trapped,
Not enough structure can make me forget -
Forget the One I ought never forget.
As I wobble along,
I start talking with Him,
Telling Him all those thoughts He already knows,
Because I ought to
And it makes me feel better,
Brings healing to the soul.
There is a great, great power in this that can't be found elsewhere.
Why is it always so much harder in this place?
Why can't I follow You as well here?
I know it's my fault,
I know I'm not making enough time,
But I planned time.
Is it too much flexibility that's hurting me now,
Keeping me from You?
Where's the balance?
Why is my soul so dry?
I need to know how to know You.
Will you teach me how to know You?"
I look up.
I am standing on the edge of a storm front.
I can see the clear, beautiful sky stretching out toward the north,
The dark storm clouds to the south.
I hear the thunder booming long before my eyes catch the flash of lightning,
Clouds momentarily illuminated,
And I know I shouldn't be out in a thunderstorm,
That I could be struck by lightning and killed (or something like that . . .
I remember, at least, being outside right before a storm when I was younger,
My parents yelling at me to go inside while they stayed out to finish their yard work,
Quickly put away tools and clean things up,
How they wanted me to be safe.)
Right now, though, I don't care about being safe.
This is my time with God
And this is the conversation I have to have.
This is what my soul desperately needs right now,
And if I'm standing on the edge of a storm front,
If I get struck by lightning and killed,
I'm okay with that.
It couldn't matter less.
I need this.
I need Him,
And I'm not going anywhere.
I keep walking,
Pray for the rain,
Something to wet the dry places,
That He would do whatever it takes,
Whatever it takes,
To bring that.
If it takes the worst storm I've ever seen,
So be it.
I need this,
I need to be drawn back to Him.
I keep praying.
Oh, how I need the rain.
I feel something wet on my skin.
Send the rain.
Please send the rain."
I wait patiently for it,
Stand there for a long time,
And, while I wait, we talk,
And I'm still trying to understand,
Understand all these things I can't wrap my head around,
All the things I'm not doing right,
And I'm sorry.
I'm so, so sorry.
I'm such a mess, God.
Such a mess.
I lift my hands,
Trying to touch this God I'm trying to wrap my head around,
Knowing I can't,
Not with my hands,
But maybe my hands will bring my heart a little closer?
Maybe if I just reach a little higher?
Big, fat raindrops start falling.
I taste the water falling from heaven,
Feel it soaking into my being,
And there is joy here,
And it's all Him,
Counting reasons 955-997 today,
Trying to know who He is,
Because knowing who He is helps me wrap my head around Him,
Wrapping my head around Him helps me wrap my heart around Him,
And wrapping my heart around Him helps me to know Him,
Really know Him,
Know Him as He is.
There is nothing more important for me to do than to know Him,
And so I'm counting,
- He answers those who do not stop crying out to Him (1 Samuel 7:8-9)
- He answers those who cry out on behalf of their people (1 Samuel 7:9)
- He thunders with loud thunder against His people's enemies (1 Samuel 7:10)
- He throws entire peoples into great panic (1 Samuel 7:10)
- He helps His people (1 Samuel 7:12)
- He gives His people what they ask for, even when it will harm them (1 Samuel 8:10-22)
- He sends men to be anointed as rulers (1 Samuel 9:16)
- He looks on His people (1 Samuel 9:16)
- The cry of His people reaches Him (1 Samuel 9:16)
- He gives leadership to those from the smallest tribe (1 Samuel 9:18-21)
- He gives leadership to those from the least clans in their tribes (1 Samuel 9:18-21)
- He anoints rulers over His inheritance (1 Samuel 10:1)
- He changes one He has chosen into a different person (1 Samuel 10:6)
- He changes people's hearts (1 Samuel 10:9)
- He fulfills the signs He has promised (1 Samuel 10:9)
- His Spirit comes upon people powerfully, and they prophesy (1 Samuel 10:10)
- He delivers His people from the power of all the kingdoms that oppress them (1 Samuel 10:18)
- He chooses those who are unlike any other (1 Samuel 10:23)
- His Spirit comes powerfully upon people, and they burn with anger at injustice (1 Samuel 11:1-6)
- He causes His terror to fall on His people, and they come out together as one (1 Samuel 11:7)
- He is witness (1 Samuel 12:5)
- He appoints leaders and brings His people out of oppression (1 Samuel 12:6)
- He performs righteous acts (1 Samuel 12:7)
- He sends rescuers to those who cry for help (1 Samuel 12:8)
- He brings His people out of oppression and settles them in the home He has chosen for them (1 Samuel 12:8)
- He sells the people who have forgotten Him into the hands of many foreign kings (1 Samuel 12:9)
- He hears the cries of His people, their promises to serve Him if He brings deliverance (1 Samuel 12:10)
- He sends people to deliver those who cried out from the hands of the enemies all around them (1 Samuel 12:11)
- He makes His people to dwell in safety (1 Samuel 12:11)
- He Himself is King (1 Samuel 12:12)
- He is King over His people (1 Samuel 12:12)
- He sets people as kings over His people – people who have cried out and begged for a king (1 Samuel 12:13)
- His hand is against those who do not obey Him (1 Samuel 12:15)
- His hand is against those who rebel against His commands (1 Samuel 12:15)
- He does great things before the eyes of His people (1 Samuel 12:16)
- He sends thunder and rain in the midst of the wheat harvest (1 Samuel 12:17-18)
- He sends thunder and rain when His servant calls on Him to do so (1 Samuel 12:17-18)
- His people stand in awe of Him (1 Samuel 12:18)
- His people stand in awe of how He works through those whom He has chosen (1 Samuel 12:18)
- He causes people to understand how evil their deeds are in His eyes (1 Samuel 12:17-19)
- For the sake of His Great Name, He will not reject His people (1 Samuel 12:22)
- He was pleased to make His people His own (1 Samuel 12:22)
- He has done great things for His people (1 Samuel 12:24)
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul . . .
A big thank-you to God today, not only for the usual reasons, but also for blessing me with just enough rainfall to take some beautiful pictures - even almost recreating what I experienced when we had our talk. I have no control over the weather, so it was a huge blessing straight from Him. These pictures were far, far better than the other ones I was thinking about using. Perfect timing, too! It started raining just as I sat down to blog, so I took a break to walk around outside and get a little wet! I love the rain!
My camera did a great job capturing the falling raindrops, which made the experience even better!
Bold, italicized words from the song "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman. Many thanks to this incredible artist for this song!
Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:
<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>Counting in community: